Sheffield United: George to reap England rewards


George Long will emerge from his England under-21 experience an even better player, David Weir has claimed.

The Sheffield United goalkeeper could win his first cap for the Young Lions when they entertain Scotland at Bramall Lane tonight after being named in a squad which includes players from the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

Roy Hodgson’s presence on the touchline - the England chief will take charge on a temporary basis before overseeing tomorrow’s senior international between the two teams at Wembley - has added even greater significance to a fixture which forms a crucial part of the under-21’s preparations for next month’s Euro 2015 qualifier against Moldova.

Irrespective of whether Long makes an appearance, Weir, his manager at club level, told The Star: “International football can teach you so much. Not just on the pitch but off it too.”

The excitement surrounding Long’s inclusion meant Sean McGinty’s call-up by the Republic of Ireland under-21s went almost unnoticed in South Yorkshire when it was announced last week.

The United defender travels to Toftir tomorrow for their match with the Faroe Islands before returning on Thursday.

Weir, capped 69 times by Scotland, said: “It’s as big an honour for Sean as for George. I’m very pleased for the both of them.”